A Critique of the CD
“While We Danced at the Mardi Gras” To truly experience a taste of New Orleans one only needs a piping hot plate of jambalaya, some red beans and rice, and a visit to the French Quarter. Or one needs to just pick up Andy Sherwood’s debut recording, “While We Danced at the Mardi Gras.” The incomparable sound of Andy Sherwood is clear and focused. He is continuing a great legacy of jazz clarinetists that includes Pete Fountain, Benny Goodman, Buddy DeFranco, and Eddie Daniels. It is clear that Andy’s overwhelming emphasis is New Orleans Dixieland jazz in the style of Pete Fountain. Andy Sherwood is first and foremost a great clarinetist who possesses that characteristically dark, fat, soulful New Orleans Dixieland sound. This collaboration establishes a new standard for jazz clarinet performance into the coming years. Andy Sherwood pays tribute to the great tradition of New Orleans jazz on this CD by featuring the most illustrious musical standard selections of the Dixieland repertoire. While We Danced at the Mardi Gras and Jazz Me Blues evoke all the magic that one experiences on Canal Street on Fat Tuesday as the gentlemen throw doubloons and beads from the floats and the crowd does a two step to the Dixie band on board. Sherwood’s improvising is propelled by a bounce “that just makes you feel good.” Basin Street Blues features Sherwood’s bluesy, melancholy interpretation that will make you long to be in the “Big Easy” once again. Pianist Ian Frenkel and bassist Steve Bulmer also contribute tremendous improvised solos. China Boy is a dazzling tour de force in which Sherwood demonstrated his technical prowess as well as his great flare for the Dixieland style. For the uninitiated, Back Home Again in Indiana, and Wolverine Blues exemplify what is meant by swingin’. The beauty of Do you Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans is only surpassed here by Andy Sherwood’s sublime rendition of the timeless classic. No traditional New Orleans Dixieland performance would be complete without Just a Closer Walk With Thee, and the tune traditionally known as Saints, the most famous of all Dixieland songs, When the Saints Go Marching In.” - Kirk Edwards

— CD Review